Students who attend Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools, including Shippensburg University, will not see a tuition increase during the 2019-2020 academic year.
PASSHE tuition for in-state undergraduate students will remain at $7,716 for the 2019-2020 academic year, according to a press release.
This is the second time in the organization’s 36-year history tuition has not been raised at the 14 state schools.
The last time the tuition rate did not rise was the 1998-1999 school year — before this year’s incoming freshmen were born.
“Our mission is clear. These universities exist so that Pennsylvanians across all income levels can access quality higher education, and by holding the line on tuition, we are living up to that mission," said Chair of the PASSHE Board of Governors Cindy Shapira.
David Pidgeon, PASSHE director of public relations, said the PASSHE Board of Governors looked at the options and determined that they had to take a “bold step.”
“The Board decided that students and their families should not bear the burden this year,” Pidgeon said.
“We need to be bold, and we need to keep students at the center of everything we do, so I want to thank the Board for leading the way on tuition," State System Chancellor Dan Greenstein said.
Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Legislature allocated $477 million to the state system budget — a two percent increase, according to Pidgeon.
“PASSHE is grateful for the substantial amount given,” Pidgeon said.
However, he noted that the state budget in 1998-1999 covered 47 percent of the budget. Last year, it only covered 28 percent.
“It creates a greater burden on both students and the system,” Pidgeon said.
There is a $62.7 million deficit and “cost-saving measures” will be implemented to compensate for the difference.
Pidgeon said he “cannot engage in speculation” in what those “cost-saving measures” will be and that no decision has been made to close the gap.
“This is a net positive for students,” he said.
Multiple PASSHE officials have reported that they are hopeful the tuition freeze will attract more students to the schools.
PASSHE has been facing budget cuts, a decline in the number of high school graduates and a “divisive” culture, Greenstein told members of the SU community during his visit to campus in May.